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Laura Carroll

Laura is a non-fiction author who has written six books and she is an expert on the childfree choice. She is based in the USA and has no children by choice.


1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your work.
I am the author of six books, including A Special Sisterhood: 100 Fascinating Women From History Who Never Had Children, 25 Over 10: A Childfree
Longitudinal Study
, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World, and Families of Two: Interviews with Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice. I
’ve also contributed to Childfree across the Disciplines: Academic and Activist Perspectives on Not Choosing Children and Voluntary and Involuntary Childlessness: The Joys of Otherhood?

For over the last 20 years, I’ve been featured on network television, including ABC and CBS morning shows, been a guest on many radio talk shows, as well as US and Canadian public radio. My articles and work have appeared in many print and digital media publications, including Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, New York Magazine, and Women’s Health South Africa and UK.

I’ve been a contributor at The Huffington Post, ran the popular La Vie Childfree blog (which now continues in the Childfree Writings section of my site),
founded and for 10 years headed the International Childfree Day event, a global endeavor to foster the acceptance of the childfree choice in today’s society.

I have a Master’s degree in Psychology and Communications, and my career has also included 10+ years in business psychology, 15+ years in litigation
psychology and communications, and 10+ years as an editor and public speaking advisor.

2. Has writing always been a focus for you or was it a Plan B?
I knew from the time I was a teen that I did not want to grow up and have children. I did my share of babysitting, and decided early that I was not
drawn to parenting being a focus of my adult life. Since early in my career, researching, writing, and editing have played major roles in my
professional life. When Families of Two was published in the year 2000, it was so well received and got so much media attention, I knew I was
onto something. It paved the way for me to become an expert and leading voice on the childfree choice and inspired my books to come.

3. How do you explore ideas or find inspiration for your work?
I start where my curiosities take me — things I want to know more about and wanting to get answers to questions I have. For example, in the late
1990s I went looking for a book on long-time happily married couples without children by choice and could not find one. I decided to find out
for myself, ended up interviewing 100 couples across the US, and publishing Families of Two. After its publication, I began to ask myself why society finds the childfree choice so hard to fully accept, which led me down the research rabbit hole of pronatalism, which led to me to write The Baby Matrix.


While researching The Baby Matrix, I met renowned conservationist, Dave Foreman, and learned so much from him on the impact of too many
humans on the natural world. It passionately inspired me to do a second edition of his book with him, Man Swarm: How Overpopulation is
Killing the Wild World

Over the years seeing so much out there about the expectation that childfree people will eventually change their minds and want children
motivated me to do a longitudinal study. For ten years, I tracked twenty-five women from four countries who started the study in their twenties
and were decidedly childfree. The result: 25 Over 10: A Childfree Longitudinal Study.


Also, over the years, I began collecting women from history who had no children, no matter what the reason, going back as far I could. Fast forward: my latest book, A Special Sisterhood!

Finding answers to my questions and wanting to share the answers with the lay public to address social and cultural issues has inspired every one
of my books.

4. What does the process of writing involve for you?
It depends on the book. Some have required a good deal of research studies; others have involved gathering qualitative data from interviews. As I accumulate information, I begin to sculpt the overall structure of the book. When it comes to the writing itself, I try to open myself up to a larger creative place — to hold the mindset that I am the channel through which what needs to be said gets on the page. I truly believe my role is like a narrative shepherd for books that need to be written.

5. And what does writing then also give you in return?
When I am in touch with being in that creative channel, the writing flows  from a higher place — like I am doing what I am destined to do, and
creating what is destined to be. When the book is done and in physical (and digital) form, the manifestation of this creative act is very satisfying
and fulfilling! It is a type of birthing as well. When the book goes out into the world it then has a life of its own, and my job is to help it reach people.

6. Has seeing your work in print changed how you view yourself, and also how you view your NoMo status?
Families of Two put me on an over-two-decade road of writing about and working toward social change for women without children. At the time it
was published, my 40-year-old-self would not have expected this, but she is glad for where it has taken me! I love knowing that my research and
writing has contributed to the understanding of women not having children and related social, cultural, and global issues
. My work has not changed how I view my NoMo status because I was sure about being childfree long before I started publishing books.

7. Tell us about the wider reception that you’ve had to sharing your story - has it changed how others have viewed you and your identity as a non-parent?
My public story about not having children by choice came out with Families of Two, and the media generally reacted to it and the book with genuine curiosity. On other channels, sharing my story did not change how others in my personal and professional life viewed me. In my personal life, my non-parent identity has been clear for a very long time, which made it easier to share it publicly and continue to write provocative books related to the topic of women without children.

8. How do you feel about the current representation of childless and/or childfree people in literature?
While I mostly focus on non-fiction, I think women without children remain underrepresented in literature, and when they are represented, the story lines are too often filled with pronatalist assumptions. In my LiveTrue Books collection, while it generally has non-fiction books, there are exceptions of novels that have characters who have no children. I also keep a list going on Amazon. I try to highlight books that are doing more of what we want to see!

9. What would you like the publishing world to know about non-parents, both as writers and readers, and our stories?
I want the publishing world to know that as a collective, women without children no matter the reason have much to say and stories to tell, and too
often the publishing business’ pronatalist biases prevent great fictional stories from being told. This also includes non-fiction stories and topics, e.g. how women without children are treated differently and in unfair ways in the workplace, subject to inequitable tax policies, and why these things need to change.

10 What future plans do you have, especially for your writing?
For now, I am focusing on getting A Special Sisterhood out there, and into hands of younger generations. I want more people to know about the
countless women around the world who are bonded by something women are historically not supposed to do, and how there are many ways to live
amazing lives that don’t have motherhood as part of it.

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